Olive tree fruit buds

Olive tree fruit buds

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Olive tree fruit buds contain more secondary metabolites than fruit or leaves. Among them are monoterpene hydrocarbons and carotenoids. The variety "Vraniclas" is especially rich in hydrocarbons, while "Contender" fruit buds are relatively rich in carotenoids. The levels of volatile compounds such as aldehydes, fatty acids, terpenes and aromatic compounds were determined. On average, they were higher in buds from the "Vraniclas" cultivar than in those from "Contender". Fatty acid levels in mature fruit were higher in the "Vraniclas" cultivar. Fatty acid levels in leaves of the two cultivars were very low. Among the aldehydes, the amounts of benzaldehyde, hexanal, heptanal, octanal, nonanal, decanal and dodecanal were higher in the buds from the "Vraniclas" cultivar. In the "Vraniclas" cultivar, in addition to carotenoids, chlorophyll a and total chlorophyll content were also higher in the bud area compared to fruit and leaves. Regarding fatty acid composition, only the amount of cis-7-hexadecenoic acid was lower in the buds of the "Vraniclas" cultivar. Hydrocarbon levels in fruit of the two cultivars are similar, but the concentration of the major fruit hydrocarbon, α-pinene, is much lower in the "Vraniclas" cultivar than in "Contender". The high levels of hydrocarbons in the buds of the "Vraniclas" cultivar, and particularly of α-pinene, could be useful in scenting foods and beverages, but its use for food and beverage applications may require the exclusion of carbohydrates and some flavors.


Secondary metabolites, hydrocarbons, carotenoids, leaves, olive fruit, cultivars

1. Introduction

Eucalyptus spp. (Myrtales: Myrtaceae) is an evergreen tree that is widely distributed in the Americas, Australia, and Africa (Li et al., 2001, Riva et al., 2011). This species has a conical habit and commonly produces oval-shaped leaves in opposite, spreading or subopposite pairs. These leaves have apiculate to cuneate to triangular-oblanceolate (Cavalleri and Molina-Cruz, 1996), in most cases, and are very rough due to the presence of cristae (Riva et al., 2011).

Although wood is not usually the most valuable product from eucalyptus, it is frequently used in the manufacture of high-quality timber products (e.g., veneers, railway sleepers, match sticks, and pulp for paper manufacturing). Eucalyptus can also produce an abundance of high-quality fiber called eucalyptus hurds. Eucalyptus hurds are a common and abundant byproduct of paper manufacturing, representing 50–60% of the industrial mill waste. Eucalyptus is used worldwide for timber, fiber, and charcoal production (Brenes et al., 2002, Cavalleri and Molina-Cruz, 1996, Mirbod et al., 2005, Rivas et al., 2011, Yermoshin, 2004).

There is a very limited knowledge of the chemistry of the secretory organ of eucalyptus. However, the fruit of this species is very well studied and can be used as a model for the studies of other species. Most studies of fruit chemistry have focused on levels of antioxidants such as carotenoids and polyphenolic compounds (Brenes et al., 2005, 2009, Chen et al., 2007, El Khawadi et al., 2011, Farhat et al., 2009, Furlan et al., 2012, Jaspan et al., 2008, Kalinic et al., 2012, Mirbod et al., 2005, Molina-Cruz et al., 2004, Negi et al., 2010, Primavera et al., 2008, Raimondo et al., 2011, Rivas et al., 2006, 2012, Rossi et al., 2011, Sharifpour et al., 2011, Solorio et al., 2008, 2009, 2012, Solovjov et al., 2012, Telfer et al., 2004, Venema et al., 2011, Volk and Kokotkiewicz, 2006, Zurcher et al., 2012).

Fruit fragrance is closely related to the levels of secondary metabolites in fruit. It is a character that is generally considered an important quality attribute, especially in relation to the cultivar and species of plant (Kaufmann, 1997, Krippl and Herre, 2004).

According to the classification of eucalyptus fruit secondary metabolites, the amount of secondary metabolites in olive oil extracts ranges from 1 to 40 mg kg−1 (Kisku, 1998, Mirbod et al., 2005, Ocampo et al., 2007). A large number of these compounds are detected in the secretory organs of eucalyptus. Monoterpene hydrocarbons and aldehydes are the main classes of volatiles in the secretory organs of eucalyptus. In addition, phenolic compounds and flavonoids are also found in the secretory organs of this species. The presence of water-soluble organic substances (i.e., organic acids and sugars) is another interesting aspect of eucalyptus secretory organ chemistry, although less known than organic volatile compounds (Chege, 1991, Chege et al., 1989, Chege and Oiwa, 1983, Guillén and Veiga, 1996, Raduta et al., 2001).

The amount of volatile compounds varies

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